Looking for something long (100kword) to read? 📙📘📗 (AKA maybe what I'm looking for is a beta reading exchange, not an R4R...)

TL;DR - Long genre-spanner, dystopian/post-apocalyptic tactical romance/slice of life hybrid.

Hello all!

I have a 101,000 word completed story that I’m working on sequel content for, and have found that feedback on the first book, especially what people enjoy about it or want to see more of, is critical fuel for my forward movement.

I’m also enjoying when I find a well-written and creative jaunt through someone else’s imagination when I need downtime for ideas to simmer. I’ve dabbled in the R4R forum a few times, and found a gem or two on each offering, along with several fizzles.

As a result, I’m wondering if the experience I’m looking to replicate with my first few lucky matches is actually a beta reading exchange. In those cases, the authors and I found each other’s books interesting, went for the long haul offering feedback along the way. In one case I even helped with a deep dive edit for publishing just because I liked the book and author.

But, for that dynamic to work, we have to both be interested/engaged, right?

  • Please actually read my book description, click through to the book, take a look around, see if it’s something you’re willing to give a long-term try.
  • If so, please leave me your pitch, including the password proving you read both sections below, and I’ll take a look too.
  • If we “match”, I’ll work to stay on par with your progress, maybe even slightly ahead – if you’re 5 chapters into mine, I will be on chapter 4, 5, or 6 on yours. Ideally we’ll get hooked on each other’s work and just binge, but if not, the farther you go, the farther I’ll go.
  • This allows me to work with multiple authors at once, and seems much fairer than the “read mine first and then I’ll look at yours” model some folks have resorted to in R4R’s. If we lose interest, then activity can just quietly taper off and there’s no unfulfilled obligations.
  • Don’t get me wrong though, what I’m hoping for here is a handful of awesome readers can get through my full arc, enjoy it, and help stir up my ideas, along with another 2 - 4 long books i can sink my teeth into. I just want us to both like the book we’re reading!
  • If you hate endings and are looking for something that will last you a good long while in quarantine, this may be it – the followup content has now outgrown the original by a factor of two and I’ve been publishing new content near-daily. Woo, fan service!

Please carefully read the criteria for what I think I would and wouldn’t be good for! I discovered great things outside my usual spheres doing R4R’s, and my biggest fans / collaborators to date described my story as “not something they would have sought out on their own, but love.” :slight_smile:

However, in each batch, I was also offered up some that were exact matches for some of my hard no’s. :frowning:

📓About my book and what I'm looking for

This is a 101,000 word, 45 chapter novel that spans a lot of genres. I’ve described as “post apocalyptic tactical romance”. Others have also told me it takes on a slice of life element, portraying the characters and relationships surviving in the face of the new world they’re thrust into.

It’s not perfect, but I consider the grammar and plot arcs pretty solid, and am mostly looking for feedback about what people like of the story and characters to help fuel/signpost the sequel.

I’m still totally open to suggestions, and am making occasional revisions to incorporate comments as I take breaks from round 2 to let ideas simmer. But, since I’ve moved on to new material, user feedback on the first book in these areas really helps my momentum in the sequel:

  • Parts or characters you enjoy and what you like about them
  • Things that are alluded to and you’d like to see more of
  • Basically, what you’d “like to see in the second season”
  • Boneheaded goofs I didn’t notice because I wrote it and my brain autocompleted / corrected it as I read it. :joy:

One warning, it’s set in a post-plague setting – I wrote it almost a year ago, but I know that can be a bit… too close to home these days. I know the timing of the world-building elements (plague etc.) are awkward, and I really don’t want anyone to make their anxiety worse on my behalf!!

That stuff does fade into the background once the characters and story solidify. Please skim the other tags too to make sure there’s nothing that’ll bother you, there’s a bunch more detail about content and possible TW’s on the first page of the story.

Solace & Taproots-2

On Black Friday in 2015, a bioterrorist releases a plague in NYC that leads to societal collapse. Months later, a former college student in urban Virginia tries to find her new place and new people at a settlement of survivors rebuilding their lives, reflects on the rough road that got her there, and helps apply boot to ass of those would would endanger it all.

It’s categorized as fanfic, but the story is only loosely set in the world of Tom Clancy’s The Division, and requires no game knowledge to read. I basically borrow the setting and one antagonist faction. Instead of the “action hero” stars of the game, this story focuses on the lives of normal, “regular” people – ones who might be potential imaginary NPCs in the original universe.

Password instructions piece 2: "…the “Dedications/TW/Etc. page that precedes my story.”

📝What I can do

In addition to plot / character / imagery feedback, I’m also a bit of a trivia-holic, and can provide technical advising on computer, first aid, vehicular, and tactical related scenes if you like.

I feel I have strong grammar / punctuation skills, please let me know exactly how much you want me to break out the metaphorical red pen on my passes: anything from content only to human thesaurus, stylistic suggestions, or full-on nitpicking about commas and quotation marks.

As far as genres, I prefer and will be strongest at maturely written: sci fi (whether space opera or cyberpunk), high or low fantasy, post-apocalypse / dystopian, action / adventure, supernatural, thrillers, fulfilling / non-pointless slice of life, etc. If you’ve got something that blends those elements, even better.

Subplots of romance (including LGBTQIA+) are great but I don’t think I’d be good for something that’s purely Romance with a capital R. Definitely nothing with weird power dynamics, predatory vibes, or the whole “I love this person but I really shouldn’t, I’m so conflicted” thing.

Password instructions piece 1: "Any three consecutive words nobody else has used yet from… "

Fan fiction’s no problem if it’s from a game, tv or movie show canon, etc from the genres above. I don’t think I can do band or IRL stuff though.

I’ll need to pass on anything with explicit / graphic depictions of abuse, violence, or sex, and do have to ask that authors be 18+. Saying someone stabbed or shot someone else is fine, even briefly describing the wound inflicted, or a couple with the hots for each other, one thing leading to another, a fade to black and then afterglow are totally fine. That’s about what you’ll encounter in my own work. Just nothing nausea / PTSD-inducing or erotica, y’know?

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Hey hello! I would be interested for this arrangement. However, there is some mention of abuse, the metaphorical ‘fade-to-black’ however it leaves little to imagination. Mine is a fantasy called Amethyst 1. Inception. Please let me know if it interests you! I will leave the blurb below

Title: Amethyst 1. Inception
Genre: Fantasy
Blurb: Ezekiel Joziah Hunt is the last Descendant of the Stars.

As the bastard son of the King of Evimeria, he was shunned by his Grandfather Andreas when he was a small child and forced to rip off his supernatural powers.

Seeking sanctuary, Ezekiel moves to a sleepy town as a student at Stonewall, an average all-boys boarding school.

He has stayed hidden until the day during his vacations when a near-fatal accident reawakens his power in front of the royal court.

His mystical abilities aren’t the only revelation. An incomplete prophecy convinces Ezekiel that there is an impending threat within his universe.

A celestial instability grows stronger each day, just as his powers do.

Now, he must battle against a scheming grandfather who despises him, and the other nobles who crave to learn the secrets of his power and the prophecy without endangering their lives.

But Ezekiel’s biggest challenge is evading the bitterness and darkness inside him threatening to implode with a force as catastrophic as the stars.

Thanks for your interest - did you check out my story, do you think it’s something that can hold your attention after first glance?

Maybe let me know which chapter you think the most egregious stuff is in and I’ll take a quick peek?

Yes I did and I do find it interesting!
That would be Chapter 7: Shards
I do have warnings in place but mild, very subtle hints are present throughout the books as well, such as anxiety inducing situations for the MC and perhaps the reader as well once they start to care for it.